Report from Louisiana: The Covid Quandry

Posted: August 2, 2021 by Pat Austin in Uncategorized
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By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Man, people are sick and tired of this Covid thing, hunh?!

I mean, I look back to a year ago: we were preparing to go back to school, many places were still locked down, most places had mask mandates, and here in Louisiana, bars were closed and restaurants operated at 50% capacity. We were still a few months away from a vaccine.

Today, hospitals are once again full, elective surgeries postponed, and case numbers are high and still climbing.

I’m in Louisiana and as of this writing there is no mask mandate. In my part of the state we are about 31% vaccinated. And compared to a year ago, people are living their lives once again: live music is back and concerts are packed with wall to wall people. Baseball is back, no more cardboard cutouts in the stands, and the stands are indeed filled with real people. Restaurants and stores are wide open. School is opening around the country without masks and without social distancing. Barack Obama is even having five hundred people out for his birthday party at Martha’s Vineyard! (Did you get your invite?!) He is, however, having a “Covid coordinator,” whatever that is.

So, what has changed? Our attitudes? Covid fatigue?

I think it is a little bit of all of that. I could be wrong, but I think most of us reject heavy government interference in our daily lives. Isn’t that the very foundation of our country? If I want to get a vaccine, it should be my private personal choice. Same with a mask. But wait, they say, you are endangering others by your personal choices! We have an obligation to public health! I don’t have all those moral answers.

But here is the thing that bothers me about the whole shebang. Covid-19 is caused by a virus. It’s science, basic science, and the whole thing should never have been politicized in the first place. Yes, both sides of the aisle manipulated this event for their own purposes. Everyone is guilty on that one. But for me, it is just science, and we have to deal with that now regardless of whether it is biological warfare, an accidental leak, or a natural evolution of the SARS virus. Whatever it is and wherever it came from, we have to deal with it.

What would we do differently here if this wasn’t so politically charged?

What would you do differently?

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

  1. Deserttrek says:

    Not sure what hospitals are filled. The ones I know about have regular patients, not covid. Your area obviously has issues.
    What would I do?
    Stop the mask mandates, no covid experimental shots required and get back to normal. The cdc is dropping the pcr test in time for flu season and has admitted on the site, the test detects sars, flu and other virus. The pcr test has driven the panic and governmental tyranny.
    Lets’ get our immune systems strong for the next potential designer virus to come out of China. Lets also re examine the relationships with China.

    I am not sure if anything can be done outside of politics anymore. It is sad and evil.

    Stay sane and strong.

  2. Pat Austin says:

    You are so right, friend, about nothing being done outside of politics. When a virus is politicized, we’ve gone over the bend! ;)
    I’m attaching a link from our biggest hospital system re: capacity.

    In Louisiana, they’re calling us a “hotspot” now. Whatever that means.

  3. Bill H. says:

    So Covid-19 is caused by a virus. So is the flu. Each year tens of millions of people get the flu and tens of thousands die from it, despite the fact that we’ve been vaccinating against it forever.

    Do we shut down society and the economy for the flu? Have we ever done that? Even in a bad flu year do we do that? Do we fulminate about how we are going to “beat the flu?” Do we talk about how life will not be normal until the flu virus is eradicated from the Earth?

    By today’s standard, I need to make my nieces wear masks against Smallpox, because I have been vaccinated against Smallpox and they have not. I am therefore not safe from Smallpox when they are around me unless they are masked, even though I have been vaccinated against it.

    Instead of this endless fear porn, we need leaders talking about how we have lived with various pestilences since man has been on this planet, and we need to learn to live with this one.

  4. Pod Hamp says:

    I am so disgusted at this point I would like then to totally open up, drop all the mask requirements and just let the good times roll. Get it over with rather than dragging this out forever. The scientists are now reporting that the vaccine starts to wear off after six months or so, so just give up trying to fight it already.